Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Windows 7 Beta Impressions

Cautiousness must always be observed when approaching any new piece of software. This goes double for Beta software. This goes triple for anything that comes from Microsoft. That being stated - we shall dive into some of my first impressions surrounding Windows 7.

I would like to start by saying that Windows 7 highlights the fact that Vista belongs in the company of operating systems like Windows ME - read between the lines there. In my opinion, Windows 7 is everything that Vista should have been.

A few weeks ago I downloaded the beta from Microsoft's site and installed it as a virtual machine via VMWare Fusion on my MacBook Pro. The only complications I have run into are due to a lack of true DirectX in VMWare. Everything else runs as one would expect an OS that is release ready. I don't think I would be stepping out on too much of a ledge to say that it is the most stable Windows OS I have run since 98SE ... not kidding!

Microsoft has gone through great measure to consolidate and re-organize the Windows experience. For example - changing screen resolution. Within Vista it is several menus deep. Within Windows 7 it is only one right click away (click on photos to see them full screen).


From the top down this OS has been organized with an attention to detail that I honestly didn't expect. I am please to say that the consolidation and organization was not limited to interface and visual issues. The Windows 7 team has successfully eliminated TONS of unnecessary processes and trimmed up the OS like you won't believe. I am running the system on 1GB of ram in a virtual environment and I still consider it usable. I would love to see what thing software would do with 4+ GB RAM on a current Toshiba or HP. Holy Cow!

So lets bring this home. How does this impact photography? A trimmer OS means fewer resources wasted. Fewer resources wasted means more resources for our precious applications. And lets face it - Photoshop loves to use resouces. Pair that with native 64bit support and new 64bit applications like Adobe's Master Suite (or any product that falls under that umbrella since most of use have NO need for ALL the programs). I am (and will be for the foreseeable future) an avid Mac user. I don't see that changing any time soon. However, this software is AMAZING and will bring Windows systems up to speed as a REAL competitor to the efficiency of OSX - Game on Apple ... GAME ON!

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